Drugs – the wrong business bruv!

I like it when people I know, like and trust share interesting updates on ‘The Book’ (my affectionate term for Facebook)
Given I work for a social justice charity, I was particularly interested in a status update from Daniel Priestley which started ⭐️ I’m about to meet with a group of 16 drug dealers. 

Daniel is a business mentor I respect; he started out as an entrepreneur at age 21 and built a multi-million dollar event, marketing and management business before the age of 25. A successful entrepreneur, international speaker and best-selling author, Daniel has built and sold businesses in Australia, Singapore and the UK. Daniel is the founder of Dent, which runs a 9-month growth accelerator programme for small enterprises, working with over 500+ entrepreneurs each year to develop their businesses. Entrevo has offices in the UK, USA, Singapore and Australia. Daniel uses campaigns to help raise up to $100,000 for charity each year and is connected to some of the world’s most known and celebrated entrepreneurs and leaders. With a passion for global small business, Daniel is the author of the three best-selling books Key Person of Influence, Entrepreneur Revolution and Oversubscribed.

Here is the Facebook post by Daniel Priestley on 12th December 2017

⭐️ I’m about to meet with a group of 16 drug dealers.
Each has recently come out of prison and is now enrolled into an entrepreneur training program with me. My message to them is that they have demonstrated excellent skills in sales, customer service, willingness to work hard and accept risks. These are great entrepreneurial skills.
Unfortunately they’ve chosen a product that is commoditised, the market is saturated and the risks are too great compared to the rewards. They don’t control the supply chain or the brand. They can’t get funding and their competition is violent.
I’m encouraging them to celebrate their skill set and use their entrepreneurial mindset to find a better product.
If they reoffend, it costs the tax payer £55k per year. If they succeed in a new venture they’ll pay into the system. Wish me luck.

I commented: Good luck to Daniel – he is the perfect enterprise mentor to support them on a path that has them thrive in a way that is good for them and good for others 💗 😃 🌹

The next day Daniel posted the following update …….

An update on my meeting yesterday with a group of ex offender drug dealers…

The meeting was due to start at 1pm and no one had shown up. 20-30mins later 2 guys show up with their social workers and then another 4 show up 20mins after that with more social workers. My energy was low – half the guys arrived and very late – I also had a hard stop at 3pm.

I abandoned the planned presentation and decided to just open up a discussion about what opportunities they were looking at.

Initially one of the social workers starts the conversation about working in a burger restaurant concept store. I ask how much the guys would be making and the answer was £8-12 an hour.

I ask the guys a different question “when you were running your old business how many did you have on your teams?”

From a group of guys aged 21-28 the answers ranged from 3-20 people on the team. I knew straight away these guys weren’t going to get excited about the burger restaurant unless they had ownership or profit share.

We moved the conversation onto team dynamics as organisations grow. “A team of 3-12 is great, everyone feels part of a family, meetings and communication is easy and there’s no need for too much structure”.

They could all totally relate to this and started sharing success stories they had achieved.

“It gets hard after 12 people. Lots of fights and conflict. People jostle to take the business in different directions and you need to invest into the business”.

Again they could relate due to personal experiences running or being on larger teams.

I shared a story about fighting with my cofounders a lot. They shared a story about a stabbing.

I showed the entrepreneur journey slides and said “you know all businesses are the same right. It’s the same shit whether you’re selling drugs or selling t-shirts”.

Then one of the guys pipes up “it’s not the same. Drugs are the perfect product. They’re addictive, it’s repeat business. It’s recession proof, people will always want drugs and we can always get them”.

To which I replied “you’re living in the past. Drugs are commoditised, the market is saturated, more people are selling than ever before and usage is in decline. You don’t control the supply chain, you don’t control the brand, you can only compete on price or service. When you work out how many hours you’re working it’s probably paying £15-20 an hour and if you screw up you go to prison. If you’re successful you can’t sell the business but you might get stabbed. That’s not a great product!”

This had a big impact. They all leaned in and nodded.

“What are you talking about ‘sell the business’?” He asked.

We got talking about exit multiples, digital assets and branding and systems. I explained that some people sell for 10-15x Profit.

“They get 15 years profit in one deal!??” The guy who had a 20 person team asked.

“Yeah – if they build a team and own the assets they can do that sort of deal.” I said.

“We’re in the wrong business, innit bruv!”

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